All posts tagged: Chicago Art Department

Image: Untitled, 2018. Graphite on paper, 30" X 40". Photo by Jasmine Clark. Image courtesy of the artist.

Seeing Signs: An Interview with Carris Adams

At least a year before the opening of her newest show, I met Carris Adams in her capacity as an arts administrator. Adams works as the General Manager of Chicago Art Department, an organization that provides space, support, and opportunities for artists. As the first Core Critical Writing Fellow at CAD, I got to see Adams regularly organize a stream of events and exhibits but all the fellows, myself included, also knew about Adams’ work as a visual artist. Her work has been exhibited in various spaces in Chicago, Texas, and New York, including The Studio Museum of Harlem. We took a moment to meet near CAD and her studio at La Catrina Café to talk about her upcoming show. Carris Adams’ solo exhibition Doubletalk is her first exhibition with Chicago’s Goldfinch Gallery. The exhibition will be on view from the opening reception on Saturday, May 11 until Saturday, June 22, and a conversation between Carris Adams and Jinn Bronwen-Lee will take place on June 8, 2 p.m. Adams’ drawings create pressures and textures with …

Identity and Struggle: Interview with Sam Kirk

In Sam Kirk’s shared Pilsen studio at the Chicago Art Department, there are desks and a couple of small colorful portraits on the wall. They serve as a sharp contrast to the white walls accustomed to a flurry of monthly exhibits. One of the walls is a high partition that nearly hides the small but clearly busy space. The heavy table in the center of the work studio holds a work in progress that reverberates with the bright color choices and the distinct, curved lines that are a signature of Kirk’s style. However, each segment is glass cut then soldered into place by the dark lines that Kirk might normally reinforce with a smaller brush dipped in black paint, if she were working solely on canvas. Kirk’s work with glass has not only recently become part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of Mexican Art, but has become an identifiable style that she shares in public murals, exhibits, commissioned work, and even enamel pins and greeting cards. Her upcoming show “The Alchemy of …

Counter-Media: Live with the Hoodoisie

“Ladies and gentleman, gender non-conforming and trans deities, welcome to another episode of the Hoodoisie!” It was a Saturday night, and we sat packed-in on plastic chairs in the Chicago Art Department, a Pilsen gallery. Technical issues with the sound got things off to a late start, but no one seemed to mind as they excitedly chatted with each other, embracing friends and sipping from plastic cups. When Ricardo Gamboa made the introduction, everyone cheered. The Hoodoisie [hoo-dwa-zee, think hood plus bourgeoisie] is a live talk show that merges art, activism, and academia from what it calls  “block-optic and radical perspectives.” Now in its second year, it takes place at a different cultural space in a gentrifying neighborhood in Chicago every two weeks. Each episode begins with a round table discussion of current events, called “Teatime,” followed by a more in-depth breakdown on a specific issue and an interview with a featured guest, interspersed by a musical performance. On February 3rd the featured guest was activist and educator Page May of Assata’s Daughters. A team of videographers …

Mixed, Matched and Embroidered: A Prom Night Interview with Victoria Martinez

“…my personal style [is] a mix and match of different patterns and hand-me-downs, such as accessories and scarves, earrings, embroidered shirts. Those are just the things I’m drawn to in my art and also with other people…” – Victoria Martinez Victoria Martinez knows fabrics well. She is a master of mixing electric textures and patterns in her fiber-based collages and urban interventions, which are directly reflected in her style of dress. In that way her art and her daily life are inextricably linked. Victoria’s art and its relationship to her style beautifully illustrates what’s at the heart of Prom Night–a linking of the art we love or make with how that creativity manifests in our everyday lives and familiar experiences we all share. This is one of many reasons that we have asked her to be a Chaperone and also an artist creating corsages/boutonnieres for Prom Night.  In this short video, produced by The Perch, Victoria describes her own style and what will potentially catch her eye when making her choices for Prom Court.       See what Victoria …

Giving with Style: A Prom Night Interview with Esther Grisham Grimm

When someone introduces you to Esther Grisham Grimm there’s a good chance that the words thoughtful, sincere, gracious and good energy are woven in some form into that introduction. Not only is she the Executive Director of 3Arts, a foundation that gives substantial, unrestricted grants to women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities, but she is also a chic dresser with a playful signature style. Staying true to her giving nature, she has accepted our invitation to be one of our Chaperones for Prom Night. This means if you’re hoping to make it onto the Prom Court, then it would be in your best interest to listen closely as she describes her style, shares her sources of inspiration and describes what she will be looking for when putting in her selections for Prom Court. Sixty Inches From Center: How would you describe your personal style? Esther Grisham Grimm: That elusive middle ground between a Pedro Almodovar movie and Charlie Chaplin. I think I have a Baroque heart laced with Danny Kaye and Jimi Hendrix. SIFC: When did you first …

The Artist’s Responsibility

Let me ask you this: What is an artist’s responsibility? Should they take the ideas that shape contemporary society and translate them into a visual language? Are they the ones who bear the weight of our cultural legacy? Is their purpose to leave the world in a more beautiful state than it was in when they entered it? Are they meant to teach us about our world, about ourselves and about each other? Or are they only responsible for the manifestation of their own ideas, whether they speak to a greater social context or a more individual one? Could it be a combination of several of these things? Whether it is intentional or not, we often impose a series of expectations on artists and the art that we see and how it should function in the world. We then make decisions on whether or not the work lives up to those expectations. Taking this into consideration I decided to ask several artists to share their thoughts on what expectations they have set for themselves by …